Tag Archives: wine

2647. Habitual drinking

Hello. My name is Francine.

What I particularly like about my daily walk is that it’s always only several hours before I have a drink. I am very regular in my habits. I go for a short walk after lunch at one o’clock and then at three o’clock I like to open a bottle of wine and watch my favourite soap on television.

I’m as regular as clockwork in my drinking habits. Someone tried to tell me that I was an alcoholic. Nonsense! I’m habitual in my drinking but not an alcoholic. It’s now just a few minutes to three, so I’ll get out the glass and bottle in preparation.

Oh golly! Someone has just pulled up in a car on my driveway. It’s Maisie McGurkin. That wretched woman doesn’t drink. Only tea and coffee and sometimes water. Water! Thank goodness I had a little wine with my lunch.

2292. The Reverend Sister’s drink

A note before today’s story…! Two friends of this blog have recently had books published, and I wanted to give them a bit of airtime by way of appreciation. As some of you know, I’m sometimes inclined to be wayward, so if something such as this calls for it to be done alphabetically I do it backwards! Hence, in this case, Iseult Murphy’s book shall be spoken of before Sarah Angleton’s!

Iseult Murphy is a prolific reader who reviews books galore on her blog. She occasionally deviates from her speciality, which is horror, fantasy, and science fiction, to review something more benign – and she recently review my short book called My Neck of the Woods. Thank you Iseult! But it is her own book I wish to promote. It is called The Mountains of Sorrow and you can read about it and other books reviewed by her HERE.

Sarah Angleton on most Fridays posts a history-based essay, often on a quirky theme – and in an entertaining fashion. Her new novel, White Man’s Graveyard  is an extraordinary well-researched historical novel. Here is a copy of my review of it on Goodreads:

Sarah Angleton’s historical novel, White Man’s Graveyard, appears on the literary scene at exactly the right time in history. Set in the eighteen hundreds mainly in Philadelphia and Liberia it chronicles the tensions between slavery, slavery abolition, and African colonization. We see it through the eyes principally of Annie Goheen and her brother Sylvanus Goheen. History comes alive! One gets an insight into the pressures of those tumultuous times. But even better than that perhaps, we are given a jolly good yarn studded with fascinating people. I laughed and I cried and I wondered. If you are an avid reader, and keen to gain insight into racial stresses in the past and in today’s world, you’d be nuts not to read this wonderful, and extraordinary well-researched, novel.

More about this novel can be read HERE.

And now for today’s story! –  Story 2292: The Reverend Sister’s drink

The Reverend Sister Mary Imelda received a phone call from Mother Superior. Would she come to visit her next Thursday at two o’clock? There was an important matter to discuss.

Sister Mary Imelda belonged to a group of nuns called the Sisters of Holy Charity. They ran huge secondary schools throughout the country and with a great deal of academic and sporting success. Their largest school, Saint Philomena’s, had over three thousand pupils.

Sister Mary Imelda didn’t have an alcohol problem but she did enjoy a little wine before dinner. Occasionally, such as on a feast day, she enjoyed a second glass. She knew that Mother Superior wanted to see her about that. “I hear, Sister, that you have a little problem with the drink.”

Sister Mary Imelda rehearsed her response. She would admit it humbly and with gratitude. Yes, she would stop having a little stipple before dinner. Yes, she had a problem but she was sure she could overcome it with prayer and fasting. Abstinence was virtuous. In fact, the season of Lent was coming up and she could start by giving up wine for Lent. Thank you so much Mother for steering me in the right direction.

The moment had arrived. She was ushered into Mother Superior’s office. “I have an important thing to discuss with you, Sister,” said Mother Superior.

Sister Mary Imelda was thinking this was it, there’s no escape, stay humble, admit your problem even though it isn’t a problem.

“I am appointing you,” said Mother Superior, “to be the head mistress of Saint Philomena’s.”

2225. Fewer deaths on Sunday

Alexia used to joke – and goodness knows it was the same joke every midday Sunday – that there were fewer deaths on Sunday so she would indulge in a wine or two and a cigarette.

They always had the main meal at midday-ish on a Sunday. On other days of the week the main meal was in the evening. Alexia’s little joke was undoubtedly because the list of names in the death column of the Sunday paper was a lot scantier than the list of dead people during the week. In general, all Sunday news was scantier. Of course in reality the number of dead on a Sunday was averagely the same as every other day.

None of this stopped Alexia from her little weekly joke as she settled in an armchair during pre-prandials, pouring a wine, and lighting a cigarette. “It’s safer to drink and smoke today because there are fewer deaths on Sunday.”

When Aunt Ethel called from the kitchen door that “Dinner’s ready!” (Aunt Ethel always cooked the Sunday meal) all rose except for Alexia. The newly lit cigarette held between her two fingers had burnt to the butt. So quiet and sudden was her death that not even the ash had fallen to the floor. No one had noticed.

1815. Cause for celebration

Roderick and David ran a smallish undertakers business. They barely made enough to live on. As Roderick joked, “The new doctor in town is not good for business.”

Then the coronavirus arrived. People were dying all over the place. Business was booming.

“At last we will be able to live it up a little,” said David lyrically. “A better quality wine! Cheeses! The finest cuts of meat! Homemade carrot cake all over the place!” Roderick and David were excellent cooks.

Sadly they both caught the virus and died.

1778. A wallow in luxury

Charles was sent by his boss on an important mission. He would get paid extra, but the negotiations were going to be tough. Imagine getting paid to pamper oneself in a luxurious hotel in Dubai! Spas! Food! Wine! Swimming pool! What a shame it was, thought Charles even before he left for Dubai, that the negotiations would never succeed!

Of course he would stay in the hotel and take advantage of every luxury. The negotiations could go to hell. He was in it for the enjoyment, provided he played his cards right. He had clawed his way up, not without effort, to be number two in the company. Life was a breeze. The boss was weak and ineffective. Charles would take over the company management soon enough.

And play his cards right in Dubai he did! Twice the boss had phoned and twice Charles assured him that things were “tough”. The third time the boss phoned, Charles was wallowing in a luxury soapy bath. The phone slipped through his hand into the soapy suds.

“We seemed to have been cut off,” said Charles later.

“No we didn’t,” said the boss, who had been suspicious of Charles for a time. “I was in the room next door.”

1718. Something’s brewing

Benny had made his own wine for years. It was a kit, so all the ingredients and everything needed were purchased in a single package. He’d done it so often that he no longer needed to read the instructions. After so many years of doing it, any man and his dog could make wine with their eyes shut.

Benny had a reputation these days. Joey, a young fellow from down the road, asked Benny if he could make a couple of kit sets of the stuff for his wedding.

“If I buy the kits would you be able to make enough of the stuff for my wedding?”

Of course, Benny said he’d be delighted, and within a day or two the fermentation had begun. When all was finished, Benny bottled fifty-six bottlefuls.

The night before the wedding, Joey called on Benny to collect the alcohol. “I’ve just come to pick up the beer,” he said.

“Beer?” asked Benny. “But I thought it was wine.”

1584. On a wet evening

Usually we quite enjoy taking the dog for its daily walk. Being creatures of habit, we seem to cover the same trail, but there’s always a new flower in someone’s garden, or a dead hedgehog on the road that the dog must stay away from, or a bird that wasn’t singing on that branch yesterday, or a car parked in a silly place…

“You’d think they wouldn’t park on the grass verge, dear. People like us walk here with our dogs. Some people have no sense.”

Of course, if it’s raining the walk with the dog is another matter altogether.

“Would you mind taking the dog for a walk on your own today, dear? I’m halfway through preparing dinner.”

And later…

“While you’re wet, dear, would you mind going out to the woodshed in the rain and getting the firewood for this evening? It’s going to be a cold night and I’m half way through peeling the potatoes.”

And still later…

“Goodness! Five o’clock already! Could you pour me a little wine, dear, when you’ve finished lighting the fire? I’m halfway through stuffing the chicken.”

And round about dinner time…

“What a miserable night, dear, so wet and cold. Would you mind popping out? I thought we could get take-away.”

A whinge, a whine, a whimper, and a wine

“Whinge” is such a good word that I thought I’d use it. This posting is a slight departure from the norm; hence, I haven’t given it a sequential number as per usual.

Whinge: Am I the only one on Word Press who has to log in MANY A TIME in order to give a like or a comment? It’s driving me crazy – and in fact stops me from liking and commenting. It’s not everyone’s site that does it, just some. What an annoying thing! What is its meaning? It’s only fairly recently begun to do this. I’ve cut down on the number of blogs I read, like, and comment on daily to save time and frustration.

Whine: I’ve almost finished my aim for 2019: to compose 153 pieces for the piano. I chose 153 because that’s the number of piano pieces in Béla Bartók’s Mikrokosmos. Of course, they’re not exactly up to Bartok’s standard, but I still dunnit. Despite some helpful and kind suggestions from a couple of readers, I still don’t know what to do with them. I hate to foist 153 piano pieces on my unsuspecting half dozen or so faithful followers. Even if a piano piece was surreptitiously snuck into a posting once a week it would take 3 years, by which time I’ll possibly be in a hole in Kopuatama. (Kopuatama, for those not well-read, is the name of the local cemetery). So I’m going to post the music in blocks of fifteen now and again, provided no one feels compelled to listen to them out of a sense of friendship and loyalty. Relatively low self-esteem was always one of my finer hallmarks – which probably accounts for the fact that I’ve only once sent my brilliant post-modern novel manuscript to a publisher. (I think the publisher has since died, and can only hope that my MS was the cause of it).

One of these is Bartók

Whimper: Last Spring (it’s a cold Autumn here in New Zealand now) I was unable to find any globe artichoke plants in any plant shop. Being particularly partial to artichokes, and given the exorbitant expense of buying canned artichoke hearts, I planted a packet of artichoke seeds. Artichokes require a coldish winter. I had 32 seeds germinate, and planted then around the garden. They are a lovely structural plant anyway with gorgeous thistle-like edible purple flowers. The artichokes have flourished. Each single plant takes up several square yards. I’ve never had them so big. Imagine 32 gigantic plants. There’s no room even for a humble carrot, and I haven’t the heart to pull any out! Roll on Spring with its promised feast! I’ll just nip out now and get you a photo!

Here is one of 32!

Wine: My car died just on 12 months ago. Death came suddenly and in the middle of a busy highway. I phoned the Automobile Association and in an effort to ascertain where exactly I was I opened the car door and the dog leaped out onto the road. Picture, if you will, me on the phone (the only time I’ve ever used my mobile) dashing between roaring articulated trucks and trailers in an effort to catch the dog. We are both lucky to be alive. The whinge part however, is that I haven’t yet been able to replace the car! I was to be paid for months of work this past week, but the money has not yet arrived. Getting a car is top of my list, as I’ve been borrowing an old truck every time I run out of wine groceries. Contemporary used cars seem to come in 50 shades of grey – I will certainly be looking for something more titivating than 50 shades of grey (colour being the only thing I know about automobiles).

My dead car being taken away

That concludes this collection of whinges, whines, whimpers, and wine. Thank you for reading, and please feel welcome to leave comments – whether sharp or blunt.

1325. Decisions decisions

Transport yourself to a tropical island. Feel the warmth of the golden sands as you move towards the blue of the ocean; the palm trees swaying, as if beckoning you to enjoy the coolness of the gentle surf.

Linger in the ancient caves of bygone years. Smell the clear waters of underground streams. Hear the gentle flowing of soft waterfalls in the primeval limestone landscape.

Feel the call of the snow-capped mountains, the mountain streams, the mountain forest. It is the call of the wild. The primeval desire to belong.

Only the full moon can dull the stars. See the sparkling of the Milky Way strewn across the night sky. Hear the lone call of a distant night creature. Bask in the balm of midsummer night of peace and adventure.

Yes! Marlene thought she would buy the Merlot. Definitely the Merlot.